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Thursday, December 3, 2009

“Armageddon Bound” by Tim Marquitz (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official Tim Marquitz Website

Order Armageddon Bound HERE

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Tim Marquitz has had a variety of jobs and recently developed & honed his writing skills. He is also an editor for four books which were released recently. He lives in Texas and is currently working on his third book in the Demon Squad series. "ARMAGEDDON BOUND" is his debut novel. It is the starting point in the series.

PLOT SUMMARY: Raised by The Devil, Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg had it easy, all things considered. But when his uncle, Lucifer, and God make amends and leave existence to fend for itself, all Hell breaks loose. His once exalted status of Anti-Christ-to-be does little to endear him to the hordes of angels and demons running amok in the Godless world. Granted free will at last, the Angelic Choir and the Demonic Horde scramble to find their way in the lawless, new world order.

With help from the members of DRAC, an organization of wizards, psychics, telepaths, and low-end supernatural beings, Frank must thwart the pro-Armageddon forces, reinforce the anti-Armageddon forces and rescue an angel in whose life rests the fate of humanity. Also while doing all of this he needs to survive attempts on his life from an unknown assassin.

FORMAT/INFO: The e-book which I received consists of 306 pages broken into over twenty-four titled but unnumbered chapters. Narration is via the first person, and features Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg, the ex Antichrist-to-be. "ARMAGEDDON BOUND" is the first in the Demon Squad series. It is a self-contained story with a proper conclusion. There is also a dedication & acknowledgments page, an author page & also a page about a forthcoming book from Damnation books.

August 14, 2009/August 31, 2009 marked the e-book/US Trade Paperback publication of "ARMAGEDDON BOUND" via Damnation Books. Cover art is provided by Jessica Lucero. The ebook has an innovative pricing system and its current pricing can be seen over HERE The first copy of the book was FREE! With each download the book rises in price by five cents until it reaches its full retail price. At that time, the book remains at full retail price. [Note: Beginning December 1st, the price increments will change from five cents to twenty-five cents per download]

CLASSIFICATION: The book is a mix of urban fantasy, dark comedy & noir-thriller. The best analogy I can come up with is Jim Butcher's Dresden files meets Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt series meets Steven Erikson's Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novellas.

ANALYSIS: "Armageddon Bound" with its familiar yet alluring book blurb and rather sedate cover does not do much to entice the reader. I almost gave this book a pass; however since I like urban fantasy the blurb had enough in it for me to give this book a go and boy, am I glad I did so!

The first chapter introduces us to the main character Frank Trigg who gets roughed around a bit thanks to the unknown whereabouts of his angelic cousin Scarlett. It's from here that we are introduced to the setting in which the mundane earthly world & the magical realms have collided and combined. We are also told about the back-story as nearly half a century ago God & Lucifer both decided to call it quits and leave Heaven, hell & Earth to their underlings; suffice to say it has not been a smooth ride.

The plot thickens as we are introduced to the world of DRAC [Demonic Resistance And Containment] of which Frank is a member and which is now trying to keep the balance between the pro & anti Armageddon forces and maintain the status quo; learning about the actions of a certain demon who has taken the onus upon himself to hasten the apocalypse, the DRAC members have to make a Faustian pact for their safety and the world's survival as well. Frank is stuck in the middle of all this as he's chosen to be the messenger for reasons revealed in the book and while he's also trying to get the deal smoothed, there's someone taking an active interest in making sure he's been deactivated completely.

The writing is clear and makes for a fun read. Dialogue is a bit clichéd and clunky in places but the reader will not notice the bumps because of the constant plot shifts. The plot makes for a fast read as the action just seems to ant up and never let go of the reader. The author is a big fan of Jim Butcher & this shows as we get a close feel with the Dresden books structure. However Frank Trigg, the protagonist is his own man; while his perverse sense of humor & his horniness might be construed as inappropriate by certain readers, it constantly kept me chuckling throughout the book.

The only minor issues I saw in this book were that of minimal world-building & lascivious humor. The world-building is done just about enough to placate the story needs and with all the magical happenings, I was surprised to see the omission of the humanity's response to it. The humorous monologues of the main character reveal a very saucy side to him & this might be a turn off for certain readers however I somehow ended up enjoying this thoroughly irascible rogue who though clearly an anti-hero is the central focus of the story.

This book turned out be another excellent, surprise read for me and was easily one of the best debuts I have ever read recently. If Tim Marquitz continues to improve upon his writing, I can see a bright future for him; for the many readers who are always on the lookout for the next breakout series, the Demon Squad IMHO is the answer for all you folks.


CTPhipps said...

I really liked this book. It needed some more world-building but I enjoyed Frank's lecherous yet hard-luck personality.

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